Carl Simon’s Glass Slide Treasures

In the early 1900’s most people were only exposed to other cultures and travel destinations through books and newspapers.  German entrepreneur Carl Simon solved this problem for many through his unique photo slideshows and lectures. 

Carl Simon’s slide projector and glass slides.

Simon (1873 – 1952) founded his own photography service company in 1907, where in addition to lending equipment and building cameras, he built an archive of glass slides of travel locations, people and cultures, animals, and many other subjects.  He and his staff colorized many of the slides and then organized them by themes or locations and stored them in wooden boxes.  Simon lent these wooden boxes and lectures to interested parties to share with their colleagues and friends. Check out this gallery of images:

Simon was motivated to show the world to as many people as possible, especially those without the means to travel and explore on their own.  He developed slide shows and lectures to support this mission, and he began touring Germany.  His lectures were given at parishes and local town halls.  The slide projector enabled his audiences to visualize the subjects discussed in his lectures, making them more interesting and compelling.

UIG contributing partner United Archives ( acquired the substantial Simon archive in 2012, and soon began digitizing it, making this photographic treasure available for the world to see and learn from.

To view the extensive Carl Simon archive at United Archives, please click here


Photos courtesy of United Archives and Carl Simon Collection / United Archives.

Text sources:

Christine Schwarz / United Archives

Around the world in 80.000 slides: the Carl Simon collection

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